Smart cities movement needs more support

Wednesday, 08 February, 2017

Two mission-critical support initiatives will help Australia build smarter, more sustainable cities, says the body representing the smart cities movement in Australia.

Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand (SCCANZ) has given its full backing to the Australian Government’s $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, but calls for a Smart Cities Leadership Incubator and Smart Cities Project Exchange to accelerate action.

Adam Beck, founding executive director of SCCANZ, acknowledges the importance of the government’s funding to catalyse the smart cities market in Australia and says that additional support programs will strengthen the program’s ability to shape the marketplace.

“The Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program represents a significant milestone for the smart cities movement and for Australian cities and towns. It is fundamental that it receives the support needed to not only survive, but thrive beyond the federal government’s allocated funding.

“In our submission to the Australian Government, SCCANZ recommends the government establish a Smart Cities Leadership Incubator. This would support a unified approach to smart cities planning and action by coaching and mentoring leaders on the use of smart cities standards, performance indicators, collaborative governance processes, solutions road mapping, and performance monitoring and reporting,” Beck said.

In addition, the council recommends that a Smart Cities Project Exchange be established to amplify opportunities for projects to attract additional support, funding and partnerships.

“We see the Smart Cities Project Exchange as a critical market-building opportunity, whereby government can seek out partnerships for their projects, attract potential investors, report on their project’s performance and build a culture of information exchange and peer learning.

“We have been involved in similar national smart cities funding programs around the world, and our experience shows that without smart leadership, we can’t have smart cities.”

Beck advocates “embracing technology, data and intelligent design to accelerate the sustainability of our cities and towns. That’s what the smart cities movement is all about.”

A copy of the submission can be found here.

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